Has been with us for a while.
Scopolamine, also known as levo-duboisine, and hyoscine, is a tropane alkaloid drug with muscarinic antagonist effects. It is among the secondary metabolites of plants from Solanaceae (nightshade) family of plants, such as henbane, jimson weed and Angel’s Trumpets (Datura or Brugmansia), and corkwood (Duboisia). Although scopolamine is sometimes portrayed in the media as a dangerous drug, its anticholinergic properties give it some legitimate medical applications in very minute doses. An example is the treatment of motion sickness by use of a transdermal patch.
Has some good uses…
Scopolamine has been used in the past to treat addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine. The patient was given frequent doses of scopolamine until they were delirious. This treatment was maintained for 2 to 3 days after which they were treated with pilocarpine. After recovering from this they were said to have lost the acute craving to the drug to which they were addicted.
Other medical uses
- Scopolamine causes memory impairments to a similar degree as diazepam.
- In October 2006, researchers at the US National Institute of Mental Health found that scopolamine reduced symptoms of depression within a few days, and the improvement lasted for at least a week after switching to a placebo.
- Intravenously administered scopolamine has been found to be effective against major depressive disorder. A phase II clinical trial of its efficacy against both major depressive disorder and depression due to bipolar disorder when administered via transdermal patches is scheduled to finish in September 2011.
- Due to its effectiveness against sea-sickness it has become commonly used by scuba divers.
- Scopolamine has been tested as a topical treatment for Aquagenic pruritus and was shown in several cases to be effective.
And as with many drugs can be misused and dangerous.
While it is occasionally used recreationally for its hallucinogenic properties, the experiences are often extremely mentally and physically unpleasant, and frequently physically dangerous; so repeated use is rare.
But it does amaze me what people will do to themselves and others…
One would think from the article here, that this was a new and bad drug just discovered..